Anger continues to build over the temporary of the main road through a town centre.

Cumbria County Council has closed off the road through Penrith, as part of measures introduced to aid social distancing.

However the move has angered residents and businesses - with some claiming it is the final straw after lockdown.

On Saturday more than 300 people turned up for a socially distanced protest in the town centre, organised by Daniel Harding, owner of Angel Lane Chippy.

He is due to reopen today.

A spokesman for the county council told the News & Star: “The purpose of temporary road closures in Penrith town centre is to provide additional space for pedestrian movement, to ensure that people visiting shops are easily able to maintain social distancing, in line with government guidance, and reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection.

“These are temporary measures and many town centres up and down the country are taking similar steps to ensure public safety.

“Providing this additional space within the town centre is especially important to allow those who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 to access local services and return to some level of normality, but of course improve safety for all.

“The changes follow discussion with local partners.”

He continued: “We recognise that local businesses may have concerns about the impact on customer footfall but we are working closely with all local partners to mitigate any impacts and make the town centre an attractive and accessible shopping location.

“This is about ensuring Penrith is able to fully reopen for business safely.

“The restrictions will be kept under review, in line with changing government guidance.”

In addition to fears over the impact on trade that the closure may cause, many are fearful of the impact on surrounding streets and the potential for a crash.

During the protest on Saturday there are claims an ambulance was left unable to reach a man needing medical assistance. It is said the ambulance had to reverse and drive around the town.

Mark Wilson wrote on the News & Star Facebook page: “I’m just waiting for the news to come in that someone has been knocked over in the side roads around the town, as they are now much busier because cars can’t go through the town.

“Let’s hope there is no robbery or any violence in the town that the police need to be called, as they won’t be able to attend quickly, unless they come by helicopter.”

However, not all agreed.

Fred Igloo highlighted that the measures had been brought in for the public’s own health. “It’s for their own safety,” he wrote. “There are bigger things going on.”